After a year of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses in the US are coming back on track. Most of the offices are ready to operate and to welcome their employees back. The vaccination drive is in full swing, and daily infections and death rates are declining. The Government pulled back some restrictions, making it easier for the businesses to operate again. Therefore, companies are planning to call their employees back to work. As most of the businesses are reopening, there are some safety protocols to follow. Read this article to know about those important points to get your office ready for your staff.
Sanitization should be on top of your checklist
Well, if your company is reopening right now, ensure to set the sanitization plan on point. Sanitization is a must to restrict infections from spreading. Drop an email to the staff and let them know about the measures you plan to take on the office premises. If every employee knows them, they will be more confident about the comeback. Everyone is well aware of the infection and its spread, so making it a mandate at your workplace will be important.
Shut off the air conditioning
After reopening your offices, ensure to shut the air conditioning. Not using the ACs can restrict the coronavirus spread to an extent. You can also check for proper ventilation as it can be great in keeping employees away from any infection. Studies show that coronavirus is still a risk, so maintaining this practice can help. If you reduce the risk simply by shutting the AC, it is worth all the effort. So, for the well-being of your staff members, following such a simple protocol can be advantageous.
Rework in the floor plan for social distancing
Adjusting the office layouts according to the new norms set by the Government is essential. Accommodate social distancing rules by keeping the desks six feet apart from each other. Utilize cafeterias to create more space for the desks. Use plexiglass barriers between the desks to make social distancing work better. Place the glasses in the reception areas and the conference rooms. This simple tip can be helpful for the health of employees.
Create a safety plan and guidelines
An actionable safety plan is a must for the offices. So, ensure to create a plan and guidelines for your employees. If a person exhibits any symptoms, use proper ways to quarantine them or send them home to receive immediate medical help. Disinfecting surfaces or testing colleagues who came in direct contact with the infected ones are some of the quick ways. All these plans and procedures will be of great help in the future as the pandemic will be around for some time.
Get together a reopening team
Creating the COVID-19 team or a group with company leaders can be effective in planning. Create a team that can take care of all the procedures and tasks. Moreover, the HR department alone is not responsible for such decisions. The COVID-19 team should take leadership from every team and meet twice a week during the first six months. They make sure that every decision is just and human in regards to the pandemic. Such a setup of teams can help to cope up with the changes and any unexpected event.
Double-check your systems before reopening
Another important thing to consider while reopening the offices is to double-check the systems. Checking the systems and errors beforehand can be helpful for the last minute’s changes. Maintaining the computers in advance will help in curtailing a lot of work later. Availing professional Computer Repair Services is a good idea. Call experts to have a look at the computers on the floor and ensure that they are working fine. You may also need them to double-check the WFH devices once the employees bring them back.
Help employees with a comfortable transition from WFH
Starting offices again can be complex after a long time working at home. This transition can be both stressful yet exciting for the employees. But, there are a few employees for whom a sudden transition can be hard to manage. You can help them overcome the difficulties and confusion. Communication and constant support from your end can be helpful. Set simple policies so that they do not face any difficulty while at work. Besides being financially present, moral support is also vital.
If you do not have an idea about managing offices after reopening, you can even consult experts. They can guide you on coping up with the employee issues and handle their work behavior in a better way. Experts can be lawyers who can guide you on sick leaves and policy requirements. Besides, you can even have a word with the local authorities while reopening your offices. Discussing all the points with them can be beneficial for you to align plans and policies in a better way for the future. Taking a vital decision can be tough, so contact them on time to keep things going.
Have a contingency plan
Many companies faced problems last year when coronavirus hit the world, and they shut their offices. Having experienced such a situation last year, HR officials must have a contingency plan in hand. The plan will be for the employees who are unable or unwilling to return to work. The HR executives and managers should have a virtual meeting with the management. The meeting must address a plan to help employees do better in any circumstances. It will be a great way to motivate every employee to get back to work.
These are some beneficial ways that can help you begin your offices again. Reopening offices slowly and steadily will be a good decision. Make sure that every employee gets access to the necessary things when in office. Having strategies and policies in mind can be fruitful to help them in coping up with the change. A healthy and safe environment keeps them motivated. On the first day, drop an email for the staff to assure them that you are there for them.